If you haven’t revisited your resume in several years, it’s time! Or, if you’re in the exciting position of creating your very first resume, there are important guidelines to consider to ensure you represent yourself as professional, in touch, and up-to-date.
At KMA, we think spring, the season of growth and fresh starts, is the perfect time for a resume reboot—even if you’re not actively seeking a new job. Here are 10 pro tips to get you started.
- Show your individuality and make sure your resume is interesting to read and attractively designed. You want it to look clean, organized, and professional, with a mixture of paragraphs and bullets, and enough white space to please the eye.
- If you have less than five years of experience, consider keeping it to one page. Use a simple, easy-to-read font. If you need more space, reduce your margins to 0.5” for the top and bottom, and 0.75” for the sides. This will keep your resume clean and readable, while giving you a little extra room to work with.
- Include your LinkedIn page with your contact information, and make sure that you update your LinkedIn profile to support your resume.
- Make your hyperlinks live. Your resume is likely going to be read digitally, so making sure your email address, social media handles, etc., are all clickable will help the recruiter or hiring manager find out more about you, which is just what you want.
- Remove your graduation year. Recruiters want to know which degrees you have, but you don’t want them to inadvertently discriminate based on your age.
- The resume objective is a thing of the past. Instead, lead off with a professional summary, which is a concise description of the skills and experience you bring to the table. It should grab the reader and encourage him or her to pay attention.
- Update your skills section to include any new skills you’ve acquired. This is an excellent place to work in keywords that recruiters (and screening bots) are specifically looking for, and you can tailor your skills section to reflect a particular job description. This means you may have as many versions of your resume as jobs you apply for (it’s well worth your efforts to customize each one).
- Be specific and provide measurable successes whenever possible.
- Save your resume as a PDF, naming it your first and last name + resume so that it’s easy to identify as yours.
- Finally, ask a friend to proofread your resume, looking for typos or other mistakes you might have missed. Ask what your resume emphasized most, and be sure it’s what you intend.